Yesterday, it broke that Pat Verbeek was leaving the Tampa Bay Lightning and going with Steve Yzerman to Detroit. The news was expected, but it came bundled with some pretty exciting additions: Al Murray, Stacy Roest, and Jamie Pushor are staying with the Bolts, and, as such, all recieved promotions.
Murray, Roest, and Pushor are three of the lead players in the Lightning front office. Each one leads a different branch of player scouting and development. While losing Verbeek hurts, it’s not as big of a blow as losing any, or all, of these three.
BriseBois said Al Murray will continue to oversee #Bolts draft and amateur scouting but will also be more heavily involved in decision making throughout the entire organization.— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) May 6, 2019
All three have received assistant general manager titles, while Roest has been granted an additional responsibility as the new general manager of AHL Syracuse.
BriseBois on promotion of Roest to #SyrCrunch GM: "Stacy’s kind of been my de facto assistant GM in that role for the last few years, and he’s well aware of how we run a program, what we value in that program. I think he’s going to be a great resource for our players there."— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) May 6, 2019
The news was positively recieved in Crunchland.
Really happy for Stacy Roest, who takes on the responsibility of #SyrCrunch general manager. Always a tremendous person to talk to about the growth of the prospects in Syracuse. This is a big win for the Crunch. https://t.co/qUJIoHtzEP— Lukas Favale (@LukasFavale) May 6, 2019
This little news tidbit was also released yesterday:
BriseBois said everyone on #Bolts' amateur and pro scouting staff are all under contract for next season.— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) May 6, 2019
(Hi, Mike Angelidis <3 )
-Nikita Kucherov is moving forward, like always. He’s currently preparing for the World Championship.
I don’t think about it (the way the season ended) anymore. We have a good team now, the atmosphere in the locker room is amazing, everyone’s making jokes, I really missed it. So what’s the point of thinking about something from the past? I’ve switched to the national team and just thinking about how to play better.
-Andrei Vasilevskiy has pulled out some John Green-esq crazy eyes in his career. Prepare to be unable to unsee.
The two-time NHL All-Star goaltender is apparently doing eye exercises to get his focus as sharp as humanly possible before puck drop.
-Meanwhile, the goalie’s mask is traveling better than most of us ever will.
Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 2019 Worlds Championship Mask travels in style on @aeroflot Airlines to Mother Russia. Thanks @BauerHockey for custom work. Personal delivery service across the ocean by @GoldStarHockey ! #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/IdrlGpVbmH— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) May 4, 2019
...All right, y’all. I’m not gonna say anything about this, I’m just going to put it here. That’s it. Read and believe, or not, it’s totally your call.
-The Syracuse Crunch is already looking forward to next season. Yesterday, they released the date of their October home opener, as well as six other home dates.
The six other home games will be:
Saturday, October 19
Friday, November 29
Saturday, February 15
Saturday, February 29
Saturday, March 14
Saturday, March 21
-The Crunch was out in the community yesterday, at a local elementary school:
Thank you to Long Branch Elementary for inviting us to be guest readers today! pic.twitter.com/jKbHQed1wv— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 6, 2019
The Solar Bears
-The ECHL season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion for the Orlando Solar Bears last week in the second round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
For the first time in Solar Bears history, double overtime was needed. In the second OT, the Solar Bears outshot the Everblades 12-11. Unfortunately, that 11th Florida shot, off the stick of John McCarron with 5:12 remaining in the second extra session, officially finished off Orlando. For the second straight season, Florida eliminated Orlando in the second round to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Everblades will take on the winner of the North Division Finals, either Newfoundland or Manchester.
-David Andrews has led the American Hockey League for for 26th years as President. It appears that reign will come to an end next season:
Dave Andrews informed @TheAHL that next year — his 26th as President & CEO — will be his last. He is retiring on June 30, 2020. The end of a long and successful run.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 6, 2019
-Just how successful was that run? Well...
For me, the mark that Andrews made can be summed up like this:— PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsNHL) May 6, 2019
In the summer of 1993, the AHL lost five markets in a 16-team league.
This summer, the AHL has 31 teams and no relocations (with the 32nd team on tap for 2021).
-The Philadelphia Flyers is going to have a lot of talent (and ego?) behind their bench next season:
“I don’t know if I’ll stay with the Rangers my entire career,” said the 37-year-old goalie, who has two seasons remaining on a seven-year contract he signed Dec. 4, 2013. “I have two years left on my deal and it has always been my goal to stay with the Rangers, but once you get up there in age you never know. I know what I want, but if the club has other ideas I know I’ll have to listen. You can’t just do your own thing.
”Sometimes the dream might not work out in the end ... we’ll see what happens. Right now all my focus is on the upcoming World Championships.”
-The Luzerne County Convention Center Authority and the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins announced yesterday morning that a 10-year contract lease extension has been reached to keep the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL in the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The news brought relief to a lot of worried WBS fans.
McKenna is happy to keep building a profile for himself and getting his name out there. He said he’d by lying if he said there wasn’t a reason behind the brand-building he’s done this off-season by way of his Twitter feed and his podcast, 6 Degrees with Mike McKenna, which is a play on the idea of there being six degrees of separation between two people. (Added McKenna, laughing: “I’ve played with so many people that you can connect me with and realistically it’s probably about three degrees back to the 1980s or so with anybody in hockey.”)